Armenian president: Yerevan seeks self-determination for Karabakh, Armenia
May 18 2017

Armenian president: Yerevan seeks self-determination for Karabakh

[Armenian News note: the below is translated from Armenian]

Armenia seeks to guarantee the people's right of self-determination,
not the preservation of the status quo in Azerbaijan's breakaway
Nagorno Karabakh, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has said in
comments about the state of the negotiating process, reported
on 18 May.

The president was speaking at the first session of the new Armenian parliament.

Comprehensive solution

He noted, however, that any change in the status quo of the conflict
would only be acceptable if a comprehensive solution is reached.
Sargsyan added that Armenia has always supported the settlement of the
conflict based on mutual concessions based on the recognition and
implementation of Karabakh's right for self-determination.

"Yes, it [the solution] must be based on mutual concessions but not on
unilateral concessions, yielding to Azerbaijan's threats that
otherwise the war is inevitable. Yes, we do not want the preservation
of the status quo, not anymore. We do not want to shift the burden of
solving the issue on the next generations. And our joint efforts with
the [OSCE] member states to settle the issue pursue this aim,"
Sargsyan was quoted as saying.

Sargsyan stressed that the proposal made in December 1997 - an
apparent reference to the OSCE's "step-by-step deal" was aimed at
establishing a ceasefire and not resolving the Karabakh conflict. "The
Armenian sides were receiving dubious security guarantees and no less
dubious and unclear prospects for the political settlement of the
conflict, going for disproportional concessions instead," he was
quoted as saying.

The president also criticised the idea that the status quo of the
conflict is in Armenia's favour. "When Baku distorts the facts, saying
that we are allegedly trying to preserve the status quo, it can be
viewed as part of the opponent's logic. But it is unacceptable for
such an opinion to be voiced in Armenia," the website quoted him as

Right to self-determination

Sargsyan noted that, for the first time in history of the Karabakh
talks, references are being made to the people's right of

"For the first time in the history of negotiations on the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, it has been fixed that the
Nagorno-Karabakh's final legal status, determined by the free will of
the Artsakh [Karabakh] people, will have legally binding force. That
is to say, it will be binding for Azerbaijan as well and guaranteed by
the international community. Unlike previous stages, it was also fixed
in the working documents that Artsakh representatives will have a
decisive voice in the settlement," Sargssyan was quoted as saying.

"In short, it is becoming clear and vivid how the political solution
to the conflict will be shaped. In this regard, the Azerbaijani
president confessed in an outburst of sincerity that the [OSCE Minsk
Group] mediators were forcing him to accept Nagorno-Karabakh's
independence. This is the essence of the negotiating process of the
last years," quoted Sargsyan as saying.

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS